Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Evaluating a Web source checklist, Day #7--Searching and Evaluating like a Pro

After creating search questions, defining keywords, picking out the best search engine, and sorting through a list of sites you think will provide you with the necessary information, it is time to begin evaluating each source by a standard checklist.

The ability to evaluate and think critically about the information in front of us is one of the most important skills today. It is not knowing a specific content, but knowing a particular skill/performance standard. And, this skill will always be a necessary skill. Each day, we are forced to think critically about the world around us, whether it's deciding to buy a particular pair of shoes, find a plumber, or do research for a class.

It is important to have a mental evaluation checklist. In the beginning, students may need a cheat sheet, but the criteria chart should become second nature.

UC Berkeley has a wealth of great information on Web/source evaluation. Though they fit secondary students, the information is sound and can be adapted to fit younger audiences.

This page from UC Berkeley contains the how-tos of Web evaluation.
Johns Hopkins University also has a Library Guide on the criteria to consider when evaluating a Web source.
And, UC Berkeley has another page dedicated to an evaluation checklist that can be distributed to students.
If you're looking for a quick and easy way to show a Web evaluation checklist to your elementary students, this peag has some great resources.
The ALSC has a page on the ABC's of Website evaluation that may also be adapted for elementary students.

The common thread is incorporating criteria for Website evaluation. It should be a critical step included in all disciplines. And, it is a performance standard tested on all state tests. So, why not apply it to a world students face each day?

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